Sanlam, Santam JV to
buy rest of SAHAM Finance
South African life insurer Sanlam Ltd said a unit of its joint venture with insurer Santam Ltd would buy the remaining 53.37% stake in SAHAM Finances for US$1.05 billion.
The unit, Sanlam Emerging Markets Ireland Ltd (SEMIL), would buy all shares of SAHAM SA, which currently holds the stake in SAHAM Finances not already owned by SEMIL. SEMIL is a unit of SAN JV Proprietary Ltd, a special purpose vehicle owned by Sanlam's emerging markets unit and Santam.
The acquisition of SAHAM Finances would help increase Sanlam's direct presence in sub-Saharan and North Africa, and boosts Sanlam's exposure to high-growth markets as well as general insurance products, the company said.
Sanlam reported a 1.4% drop in full-year profit, hurt by recession in its home market.
Diluted headline earnings per share fell to 481.3 cents for the year ended Dec. 31 from 488.1 cents a year earlier. – Nampa/Reuters
Nigeria orders audit of Dana Air
Nigeria ordered an audit of domestic airline Dana Air after one of its planes overshot a runway in the city of Port Harcourt last month, the latest in a series of incidents, a presidency spokesman said on Wednesday.
Nigeria's airlines are plagued by problems - delays, cancellations and fuel shortages almost expected from domestic passengers. However, safety records in recent years have improved greatly.
In June 2012, a Dana Air flight crashed into a Lagos apartment block, killing 163 people in the country's worst airline disaster in two decades.
Also last month, Dana came under fire after a passenger tweeted, with a photograph, that an emergency exit door had fallen off a plane as it touched down. – Nampa/Reuters
IKEA to maintain
IKEA Group, the world's biggest furniture retailer, will maintain or raise already high levels of investment in coming years as it adapts to fast-changing shopping habits, its new CFO said on Wednesday.
In a strategy shift, privately held IKEA, known for its huge out-of-town warehouse stores, is starting to add city-centre showroom formats to entice new generations, while also further developing its online store to stave off competition from internet giants including Amazon.
IKEA must adapt if it is to stay ahead of online-only players such as Amazon - which in November launched two furniture brands of its own - as well as Flipkart in India and Germany's Otto and Home24.
IKEA Group, owner of most IKEA budget furniture stores worldwide, invested 3.1 billion euro in stores, distribution and customer service networks, shopping centres, renewable energy and forestry in its 2016/17 financial year. – Nampa/Reuters
Exxon unveils bold
capital spending plan
Exxon Mobil Corp on Wednesday outlined an ambitious capital spending plan it said would more than double annual earnings by 2025, hoping to allay investor fears that the world's largest publicly traded oil producer has seen its best days.
The company said investments should drive profit to US$31 billion in 2025 with crude prices at or above current levels.
Exxon is increasing its budget to achieve its goals, spending US$24 billion on capital projects this year, US$28 billion next year and an average of US$30 billion from 2023 to 2025. Meanwhile, peers including Chevron are cutting spending or promising to hold budgets flat.
Production is expected to grow about 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), to about 5 million boe/d in 2025 as 25 projects come online.
In the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico, the largest US oilfield, Exxon plans to triple production by 2025 by recently purchased low-cost acreage. The expansion highlights the increasing importance of US shale alongside its global megaprojects. – Nampa/Reuters
Airbus says jobs hit
by slower deliveries
Airbus on Wednesday confirmed lower production rates of its A380 superjumbo and A400M military aircraft and said up to 3 700 jobs would be hit in France, Germany, Britain and Spain.
Dubai's Emirates saved the A380, the world's largest passenger jet, from death row in January with an order worth US$16 billion at list prices. But demand elsewhere remains weak and Airbus said it would fall to six A380 deliveries per year as of 2020, from an anticipated 12 deliveries this year.
Meanwhile, its A400M programme has been beset by delays and cost overruns. Deliveries of the new troop transporter will slow to eight in 2020, compared with 15 this year and 11 in 2019, following discussions with nations which are launch customers.
Sales of the A380 have disappointed in the face of strong competition from smaller, more flexible twin-engine jets that are at least as efficient. The A400M, Europe's largest defence project, has faced chronic delays and glitches. – Nampa/Reuters